On Tuesday, Positive Technologies released a report revealing an increase in the number of cyber incidents occurring between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018. According to the report, analysts identified a 32% jump in unique cyber incidents.
While a general growth of cybersecurity issues could be considered typical, the report found that several other cybersecurity related concerns have also increased over the year as well.
SEE: Cybersecurity in 2018: A roundup of predictions (Tech Pro Research)
Hackers, according to the report, have an increased interest in personal data such as account credentials. Data theft also makes up for a large share of the total cybersecurity threatscape— 13% more than the 2017 average.
The greatest increase was the use of malware in attacks, up 75% since Q1 last year. In fact, the report found that malware was used in 63% of all attacks.
Primarily, individuals are the victims of malware attacks 5 out of 6 times, according to the report. Similarly, the report found that cryptocurrency miners accounted for 23% of malware attacks.
"Spyware, in particular, is used most often because it allows obtaining not only personal
information and corporate secrets, but credentials for the services and systems needed to
attack internal corporate infrastructure." Leigh-Anne Galloway, Cyber Security Resilience Lead at Positive Technologies, said in the report.
According to the report, cyber attacks on the government increased as well—most of these involving spyware. This malware was placed on government infrastructure primarily through phishing emails. Public sector workers should be vigilant for odd looking emails and possibly invest in training their employees to better spot phishing emails. For more tips on identifying these emails, check out this article from TechRepublic's Macy Bayern.
IT workers in banking need to be aware of cyber-attackers seeking financial gain. While these efforts total 64% of attacks on banks, the remaining 36% is aimed at gaining sensitive client balances. So, IT professionals in finance and banking should make sure their customer databases are as secure as possible.
While these attacks aren't new, they aren't expected to slow down anytime soon.
"We expect that the number of unique cyberattacks will continue to grow," Galloway said in the release. "New types of malware, and especially spyware, will appear."
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- A report from positive technologies found that 63% of cybersecurity incidents involved malware.
- IT pros in finance must watch for credential stealing, while government employees should be especially mindful of phishing.
- 10 ways to raise your users' cybersecurity IQ (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Cybersecurity: How to devise a winning strategy (ZDNet)
- Cheat sheet: How to become a cybersecurity pro (TechRepublic)
- Improve your cybersecurity strategy: Do these 2 things (ZDNet)
- 5 steps leaders can take to improve cybersecurity in their organization (TechRepublic)
Laurel Deppen is the 2018 summer Editorial Intern for TechRepublic. She is a student at Western Kentucky University.